Dene Nahjo Urban Hide Tanning Camp

Dene Nahjo at the 2018 Urban Hide Tanning Camp.

The third annual Urban Hide Tanning Camp hosted by Dene Nahjo took place September 19-29, 2019 in Yellowknife. The program hosted approximately 2,000 visitors over ten days, including 400 elementary and high school students. Participants were able to visit the camp, take tours, watch demonstrations and even get involved in hide tanning themselves. The camp also hosted the Banff Forum one evening, which included over 150 participants from across the country.

The third edition of the camp was bigger than ever, with the addition of a babiche-making workshop in collaboration with the Aboriginal Sport Circle, and tool-making demonstrations. Elders and instructors from the Akaitcho, Tłı̨chǫ, Gwich’in and Dehcho regions led activities and offered guidance. The camp was a huge success, with visitors calling it “a perfect example of healing on the land and from the land” and saying it gives them hope for the future.

Hotıì ts’eeda was proud to support this event through our Strategic Priorities Support program, consistent with the commitment to support homegrown Indigenous-led projects that support community wellness. Dene Nahjo’s Urban Hide Tanning Camp is an innovative project that supports Indigenous peoples’ to engage in their cultures, builds capacity, fosters reconciliation and awareness, and reclaims traditional spaces.

Dene Nahjo’s work aligns with Hotıì ts’eeda’s broad vision of NWT community health and wellness as rooted in Indigenous culture and ways of healing. Hotıì ts’eeda’s support funding allowed Dene Nahjo to hire a full-time Camp Director to run the camp. The camp hired a total of ten Indigenous NWT residents, including seven hide tanning instructors, and provided honoraria to six Indigenous NWT resident volunteers, and supported the involvement of one Indigenous high school student.

For more information about the work of Dene Nahjo, visit their website.

A hide tanning demonstration.